The American Dream

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The American Dream in Death of a Salesman, The Great Gatsby, and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Millions of immigrants come to America each year to seek their American Dream. Many people believe that rising social mobility and success is possible in America for everyone due to the American social, economic, and political system. From Abraham Lincoln to Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, countless Americans have risen from rags to riches and success. However, is the Dream actually attainable for most Americans and is it desirable? While in the popular thinking the American Dream is achievable, authors, such as Arthur Miller, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Stephen Crane, convey conflicting views on the subject. Although Miller and Fitzgerald offer situations where the American Dream may be attainable, Crane provides evidence that background can be a serious impediment toward social mobility.

In the play, Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller shows that the American Dream is attainable and desirable for some but not others. The main character is a salesman named Willy, who is desperately seeking his version of the American Dream but fails. For Willy, the American Dream means to be well liked and popular. In fact, Willy declares to his son that “[t]he man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want” (Miller 1298). The dream is very superficial because Willy believes that his appe...

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... of their poverty, many others have not. Although millions continue to come to America seeking greater wealth and success for themselves and their children, some will be sorely disappointed.

Works Cited

"American Dream." Dictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. .

Crane, Stephen. Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and Other Writings about New York. New York: Barnes & Nobles Classics, 2005. Print.

Eisinger, Chester. The Wrong Dreams.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.

Marin, Rich, and Tony Dokoupil. "Dead Suit Walking." The Daily Beast. N.p., 17

Apr. 2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." 1949. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym. Shorter 7th ed. Vol. 2. New York: Norton & Company, 2008. 1286-350. Print.
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